Saturday, August 18, 2007

Shopping Frustration

Before I start my post, I have to share this: as I type this, Gabriel is dancing around our living room to the Talking Heads' Girlfriend Is Better, and he is doing a full-on David Byrne impression, and I have to say it is one of the funniest things I have ever seen....I wish I knew where our video camera was. (Although I am trying to decide if that's bizarre behavior for a 7 year old...)Anyway, on to my actual post.


I'm going to admit something I don't admit very often. a size 16.

I'm not happy about this number - this number bothers me A LOT. And in my head, (and this might sound insane) - I am still the same size I was 8 years ago before I got pregnant with Gabriel (size 12). It's possible that in my head I am still the same size I was when I was living in Japan - which was, a size 10, and then later, after a year of living in Japan, an 8. (Which was still ENORMOUS compared to every other woman in Japan...and I'm also about 5'7", which made me a giant. Nothing like being a size 8 and still feeling like a huge fat giant to do wonders for a girl's self esteem.)

It's quite painful to my psyche to admit that I am, in fact, a size 16 and have been so since I quit nursing Gabriel 7 years ago. (See, while I was nursing Gabriel, I did lose a lot of weight, although I honestly don't know what size clothes I was wearing...but, then I was in the middle of law school with a sleepless one year old, and, well, I gained weight.)

Anyhow, despite my walking and McDreamy/Sydney Bristow watching whilst walking (you would think if one was working out while simutaneously watching actresses who are all smaller than a size 2, a person would BECOME smaller, but, not so much), I am still a size 16. Presumably a size 16 with healthier lungs, heart, etc. (God I hope so.)

I had been avoiding buying a dress for Lana's baptism in the hope that I would actually, oh, I don't know, have whittled myself down to a lithe and practically invisible size 14 by this time, but, it was not to be.

So, Husband and I and the shorties took off for the mall after dinner yesterday. (We actually took the children to dinner out at Red Robin, since it is one of the few places in this town that is VERY LOUD to begin with, so, Lana's amazing loudness while in restaurants is hardly even noticeable).

We went to a very many clothing shops at the mall. Very many. And I am sure it seemed like more than it actually was, considering that we had a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old with us, which can make shopping for a dress really not fun. (Although it did remind me why I am so very fond of the J.Jill and Coldwater Creek catalogues (yes, when it comes to clothes, I am distinctly a midwestern girl with midwestern clothing...)...because I can shop from the comfort of my bed without 2 children asking if we can "go home yet".

Problematically, in my goal to lose a size before buying a dress for Lana's baptism, I inadvertently failed to take into account that, despite the fact that it is August and has been 100 degrees outside for weeks, all the stores have their new fall lines in.

And gadzooks, what a hideous fall it is going to be, because, LORD. It looked like UGLY threw-up all over every dress I looked at. Not that I looked at that many, because there were very very few dresses, ANYWHERE.

At Macy, I was looking at the sales rack, hoping for a pretty summer dress, and, of course, the only dresses left from the "end of season" were size 2s and 4s.

It was...depressing. I was very nearly in tears about the whole situation. We went to store after store, and I finally asked one salesgirl where I might find a dress that didn't look like couch upholstory from 1978, she told me that August was not "a good time to buy a dress." Huh...

Finally, at Dillards, shoved in a forgotten back corner, when I had all but given up and decided to wear BLACK to the Baptism...I saw...a rack. A rack of DRESSES. PRETTY DRESSES. In pretty colors, and there were six of them IN MY SIZE. AND THEY WERE 75% OFF. (It was like a dream come true.) I tried on all six of them, and there is nothing like a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old who are sensing they are about to be released from shopping purgatory to make a girl feel okay about being a size 16. EVERY DRESS was met with a cry of "Mommy!! You look so PRETTY!!" (See...occasionally my children are smart enough to figure out what side their bread is buttered on.)

Ultimately four of the dresses were cut too low for church. (Let's face it, no one wants to be known as 'the mom with all the cleavage at the baptism'...) So, I left Dillards, victorious, with two very pretty dresses, both of which had been marked down from $140 to $35!!!

I fear however, based on the rest of the clothing I saw last night, they are the LAST pretty dresses I will be seeing at the mall for a while....



Anonymous Christina said...

Girl, go find your video camera because that dance sounds worthy of remembering! LOL

Way to go on the dress shopping! I have had so many experiences like yours, scouring the mall and realizing there are very few dresses to be had and even less that I could wear in public and even less that are priced anywhere in my range. So I am very impressed you got TWO dresses that look nice and on sale! Whoohoo, you rock! :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007 12:09:00 AM  
Blogger KelleyO said...

I always find pretty dresses at Dillards. As I was reading your post I was thinking she should go to Dillards. Great minds think alike!

Sunday, August 19, 2007 1:58:00 AM  
Blogger mam said...

I second Christina -- I want to see the David Byrne boogie! And're braver than I. For me, it's almost all online (J.Jill is the best, for this transplanted midwesterner too).

Sunday, August 19, 2007 3:47:00 PM  
Blogger Mia's Mommy said...

Oh, Law Mommy! If I could see a 16 again...

I have several plastic tubs of very expensive clothes (I used to work for a very pricey retail clothing line) ranging from size 8-16 all from a three year period. I refuse to sell them or let them go all because, one day, I'll get back in them. Yeah right! I HATE shoping now. I totally feel your pain. Even after my third kid I got back down to 120. I felt so fat then, ha! I fluctuated between 100-110 even after my 2nd kid. Now, I think just one of my thighs weighs 110. sigh...

I remember crying when I hit double digits. I had a complete breakdown when my size was a "teen" number.

I love Dillards. It seems like the only place to find clothes that fit, and don't break my wallet!

I would have totally loved to see a video of that dance; how cute!

Sunday, August 19, 2007 7:56:00 PM  
Blogger niobe said...

I'm glad you got two (!) pretty dresses, but it sounds like I won't be doing much shopping this fall since I don't really need any more clothes that look like *ugly* threw up all over them. Thanks for the hilarious visual.

Monday, August 20, 2007 2:02:00 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...

Wow! Two cute dresses, on clearance that were not a size 2?! I am never that lucky. My main shopping gripe lately is that everything is made for women with a flat chest. I don't know how many times I've held something up thinking "this would be cute if I had no boobs". UGH.

Weight and dress sizes are so hard to accept. Ten years ago I was a 6 without any effort. Now I'm a 10 or 12 with a whole lot of effort. It stinks and I feel your pain.

Monday, August 20, 2007 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger jenn said...

boy am I hearing you. My swimsuit bit the dust and it doesn't get any worse than trying to find a swimsuit for a size 16 tall that wears a bra my size. I gave up on dresses for a year or twi seeing as the twins are one...perhaps it'll be a habit that sticks.

I can verify the "ugly threw up" statement as I was at the mall on Sunday and kept waiting for a window display that caught my eyes. Left with nothing that pleased aside from Williams Sonoma...perhaps that is why I am having size issues?

Monday, August 20, 2007 7:17:00 PM  
Blogger thecurryseven said...

And I thought I was the only one looking for decent dresses. I was certain that was the case because if other women were looking for them, surely the stores would stock them, right. Oops...silly me. Every so often I forget that stores don't stock what the customer wants, but are happier with deciding what the customer wants and then telling us what that will be.

On re-reading that it sounds just a touch bitter. But I am so tired of ugly clothes as the only choice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger adam said...

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Friday, August 24, 2007 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh, I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who thinks that the fall is going to be AWFUL! Who let the 80's back into "style"?

Glad you found a couple of pretty dresses!

Sunday, August 26, 2007 3:32:00 PM  

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